In Episode 34 I have a lot to talk about! I cover a little bit of knitting, snail mail news, information about BFL wool, and review a couple of audiobooks that I recently listened to. In the classroom I discuss the research on interpersonal synchrony.
Welcome to both new and returning listeners! I invite you to join our amazing Ravelry group so you can participate in all the activities and contests and be eligible for prizes. It’s always a pleasure to connect with listeners online as well as via snail mail. I’m a huge fan of old-fashioned handwritten correspondence. If you’re interested in writing to me, all of my contact information can be found on this site; click on the “About” tab at the top of the page.
This podcast is sponsored by Etsy shops Halcyarn Knitting Accessories and PHD Yarns. Thank you so much to both sponsors! Listeners’ support of these sponsors is truly appreciated, and through them you are supporting this podcast and making it possible.
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Reminders and Announcements
- Graduating Class thread is open on our Ravelry group. Post finished objects by the end of this month for a chance to win valedictorian prizes.
- Year of the Sheep thread is open on our Ravelry group. Chat and post pictures of your fiber adventures with BFL, our sheep of the month for February
- February Read-along thread is open on our Ravelry group. Join us in the discussion of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Operation Sew Smart Update. I presented the money we raised to my friend Linda, home ec teacher at the local middle school, and she is excited to be able to order a new sewing machine for the students to learn on. THANK YOU so much to all of our Ewe University listeners who generously donated to this fundraising effort!
Awards and Scholarships
- Yarn Grant Competition — winner is Post #23 from WUPPERSTRICKER, who is Steffi from Germany. Congratulations!
There will be more yarn grants to come; keep your eyes open for future announcements!
I’ve been sick with a bad cold, but the good news is that being sick in bed gives a person a lot of uninterrupted knitting time. I’m going to be the academic reader again at graduation in May. My dad came home from the hospital last week — yay! But then my mom went into the hospital for a planned hip replacement. It’s always something! The Timber Ridge Knitting Retreat is going to take place on March 21. Let me know if you’re interested in coming. At the end of this week I’m flying out to California for a psychology conference in Long Beach. I’ve been excited about collecting the yarn I’ll be working with during our Year of the Sheep celebration. So far I have:
- Corriedale from Giddy Transformations for March
- Targhee from Blue Moon Fiber Arts for April
- Rambouillet from Sincere Sheep for May
- Dorset from Solitude Wool for June
- Cormo from Clearview Farm for July
- Cheviot from Jill Draper Makes Stuff for August
- Icelandic from The Yarn Gallery for November
I still need to get some Cotswold for September, Polwarth for October, and Romney for December.
Thanks to everyone who has sent me a card or letter recently! In the show I catch up with Postcrossing news and tell you about a post office tree in South Africa.
I’ve been watching and enjoying several new podcasts:
The Academic Status of My Knitting Projects
- Upstairs Downstairs Cowl by Paula Emmons Fuessle
- Yarn: 100% BFL, DK weight from Taylored Fibers in the Gun Metal colorway
- Needles: US size 8 (5mm)
- Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku
- Yarn: Superwash BFL/nylon blend from Fiber Fan Girl in the Variegated Blue-Teal-Purple colorway
- Needles: US size 1 (2.25mm)
Year of the Sheep
Our February Sheep of the Month is Blue Faced Leicester, also known as BFL. I provide some information about the history of the BFL sheep as well as characteristics of BFL wool.
I review the Quals base from PHD Yarns, which is a 10-ply 100% merino, worsted-weight yarn. Listen in for my specific experiences with it, but overall I really enjoyed working with it. Plus the color intensity is amazing:
At the Library
I review two audiobooks that I recently finished:
- As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley (2015). This is the latest installment of the Flavia de Luce series, which I adore. I give this book 4-1/2 stars.
- The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron (2013). I didn’t like this book as much as I expected. I give it 2-1/2 stars.
In the Classroom
Today I discuss some fascinating research on interpersonal synchrony, including unconscious mimicry of others’ gestures, postures, accents, and movements, as well as coordinated movements which are matched in time, such as walking in step with someone else. Research is showing that group synchronization has a lot of positive outcomes and even has a neural basis. I’m amazed that people’s brain waves sync in addition to their physical movements and physiological responses like respiration. I also talk about how the simple act of marching in unison, like police and armies do, affects people’s perceptions of adversaries and themselves. Listen in to find out the details!